From the depths comes the mysterious echoing frequencies of a man enchanted. With a rare spirit and extraordinary delivery, Michael Red is a creator of magic. Through his many beautifully overlapping projects, this man works in the medium of sound and light, mixing them effortlessly with space and darkness.
As head of the forward thinking Vancouver sound system collective Lighta! Sound, Michael Red reigns supreme in the dance. In another light, he channels an alternative energy, a deeper emotional expression with Low Indigo. Going deeper still, you might find the music of souns, another more exploratory AV creation of Michael’s. Most recently, he has paired with Gabriel Solomon aka GBS of Yellow Swans to create Chambers, a name which quite accurately suggests the style and sound. Through these many channels, Michael Red crafts a collection of frequencies all his own.
Last year at Bass Coast, I had the chance to speak with Michael about his music and his involvement with the Bass Coast Project. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the interview was never published, until now. Like a vaulted wine, ingesting these words and rhythms will provide you a taste of Red which would stimulate the palate of any contemporary music connoisseur.
Check out the interview below, and be sure to have a sample of the many sounding flavors of Michael Red. For those headed to Bass Coast this weekend, BIG UP YOURSELF. It’s going to be superb. More info on Bass Coast here.
GANJAOLOGY :: We are here with Michael Red at Bass Coast 2013. Maybe we can start with a brief intro…
MICHAEL :: My name is Michael Red. I’m from Halifax Nova Scotia, and I’ve been Vancouver based since ’98. And, I’m into all sorts of different things.
GANJAOLOGY :: Excellent. I know that you’re a part of Lighta! Sound and you have some other independent projects. I guess let’s start with Lighta! Tell us about that.
MICHAEL :: Ok, I’m not exactly sure when we formed, but it may have been 2004ish. It started off initially rooted in ragga jungle, dancehall, and soundsystem culture. At the time when it was forming, it started off as a fusion between dancehall and jungle. Later on it started to define itself more. Now, we can backtrace it to say “Oh, that’s what’s happening.” But, at the time it was just fresh and really moving fast. Slowly artists came on board… It’s definitely Vancouver based. I like to think it has a West Coast flavor with a real Vancouver identity.
GANJAOLOGY :: Who were the originals and who is involved now?
MICHAEL :: The originals… Well I invited everyone on. It starts with the logo, which I view as an icon. It has an impact. it’s a kind of statement to be perceived in a certain way. I had the image in my head for years before putting it into physical form.
Because we were strongly rooted in Jungle and fusions around that, the starting members were people that are not active now. But that was Condition Red, who is from Victoria. He’s the Jungle archivist here on the west coast. He’s got the biggest collection and the most knowledge. That made sense. This guy knows his stuff and we were playing shows together. And then after that it was Angst, who is San Fran based now. I think he’s from San Fran originally and he came up to Vancouver, spent some time and then went back down. He was very much holding a torch for Ragga Jungle up here. He was on it with the Ragga Jungle resurgence which was happening at that time.
Next I believe It was Calamalka. I met him at a party and he gave me a record he had pressed himself. It was like hip hop dub fusion. Very rooted in dub… that whole dub aesthetic.
Essentially what it is now and where it comes from is sound system culture. It’s about the live experience. Today it’s a lot of dancehall reggae. That’s a very strong element which will always exist. And also, modern sound system culture… What dubstep was and arguably still is in a purest sense. And any extensions of that. My view, and I think our collective view of sound system culture is always pushing forward. When you look at Jamaica and that sound, it’s always the next thing. Lighta! is so diversified now… with all of our different members and what they do.
GANJAOLOGY :: You said you had 12 on stage today. Who are they?
MICHAEL :: Myself, Calamalka, Max Ulis, Self Evident, DJ Tusk, Tank Gyal, Mandai, DJ Cure, Daega Sound, Taal Mala, and…
We haven’t made an official announcement yet, but it’s no secret. Our latest member is Librarian. And we’re all super excited about that. And it just makes sense. It’s not really any sort of decision. She’s just obviously part of the family. We’re a family you know.
GANJAOLOGY :: I honestly thought she was already party of the crew.
MICHAEL :: That’s why. A lot of people are like “oh, she’s not a part?” So that’s why. And that speaks to my personal interpretation of the whole thing. That’s just what makes sense and feels good. It’s right. It feels right. That’s kind of what people want it to be. It’s already understood.
GANJAOLOGY :: Anything else you want to share about Lighta?
MICHAEL :: I don’t know… We’re stoked. It’s cool. There remains a potential which is really strong. It’s in no way stagnant. Theres lots of room. There’s lots of direction. There’s lots of future pockets to be filled. You know, we’re a family… and we’re excited.
GANJAOLOGY :: It’s a pretty inspiring group for sure.
MICHAEL :: It’s a collective, you know. It’s bigger than the sum of all of us.
GANJAOLOGY :: So that’s one project. There’s this other project, maybe similar. Chambers… Can you talk about that?
MICHAEL :: Sure. Chambers. We started about a year ago. It’s me and Gabriel Solomon aka GBS. He was a part of a duo called Yellow Swans. If you want to talk about intuition and ethereal stuff, we came together in a very dreamy way. I feel, and I think he would agree, that it’s not even realized yet. It just feels right, and we’re going somewhere and we’re not sure where. It feels good. It’s a lot of improvisation. It’s absolutely rooted in dub. In traditional dub aesthetics.
GANJAOLOGY :: Is it live?
MICHAEL :: Ya it’s live. He’s playing guitar with analog effects like delays and reverbs with a mixer. He also uses cassette tape loops. I have my live PA setup which is three midi controllers. I take a live feed of what he does and I put more effects on that. And live, we jam. It’s about spaciousness and attention to space. It’s minimal with a focus on the deep details. The micro details. it’s heady. You know, you can lose yourself in it. I do. He does. I know others can too. I’ll say, It’s heavy in a subdued way. I think that is accurate.
GANJAOLOGY :: The other major project that I know you’re involved with is Low Indigo. Tell us about that.
MICHAEL :: So… in sequence from all that you’ve asked, Low Indigo is the most undefined. And undefined in a very comfortable way. It’s like my experience with Lighta’ and how it formed, and made sense later. From that experience, I’m kind of surrendering and letting it go to see where it ends up.
Musically speaking, on average Low Indigo is more left field, abstrakt, slower, more moody, chilled out, and more on the fringe. It’s not main room. The way Lighta! would be main room, we can do the hype party kind of thing. Low Indigo is what was the rave chillout room. That is the place for more exploration. It’s more participatory as well and thats the way I kind of left it undefined and it’s kind of slowly defining itself over time. Through the FB group, people are contributing with “Hey check out this artist, or check out that project.”
There’s a rap artist, Sol from Anticon. He and I got the chance to collab on a track some years ago. I think he just makes lyrics up off the top of his head, like he’s channeling something. I always remember one of his phrases in that rap. He says, “that which is perfect is finished.” As soon as you define something, it has boundaries. And people can say it’s this. It’s not that. It’s black and white…
I’m interested in the grey. I’m interested in the organic reflecting real life which is not defined. It’s exploratory. “Let’s see how this goes” kind of thing. I view Low Indigo to have it’s own soul. And for now I’m a facilitator of that. So I guide it and we’ll see where it ends up. And Like I said, it’s rooted in the more exploratory fringe stuff so naturally that equates to left field, fringe thought as well. Like those sparkles of inspiration. In a setting like this at Bass Coast, I’m interested in affecting individuals so they’re like, “I’m gonna change my whole life right now.” You know, it may or may not happen but it’s those moments, regardless of what happens next. I’m interested in those moments of inspiration and life changing epiphanies and stuff like that. Which I think a lot of that music lends itself to. That dreamy, lose yourself, meditative introspection.
GANJAOLOGY :: What can you say about Bass Coast?
MICHAEL :: From the very start… Well, let me tell you for a second. As soon as I saw Andrea, the Librarian in Whislter… Wow. She was DJ’ing with myself, Daega Sound, 2562 and Mat The Alien at his night up in Whistler. She was opening up and none of us knew her and Mat was like… “Ya man, she’ll do a good job”. As soon as I saw her and heard her selections and her vibe, I literally said to her… We need to work on some stuff. Tell me what you’re up to because… Let’s do something. And she says, “well actually I’m thinking about doing this festival called Bass Coast this coming summer” And I was like alright! let’s keep in touch!
GANJAOLOGY :: You were quick to support.
MICHAEL :: Absolutely. In an instant. A bunch of Lighta artists got booked and we supported it all the way. It was very clear to see that big things for Bass Coast were soon to come!
I think that the amount of growth and potential that Bass Coast has, at this point is still pretty much infinite. A lot of people that come here feel that as well. And that is one of the reasons why I believe in it and support it wholly. Because it’s a feeling. People come here because it’s larger than just the experience itself. We all have the potential for larger than what the media might tell us. Or in our day to day, what we might believe, our ego; we are larger than that. Here’s a place that actually realizes that and expresses that and helps facilitate people growing in that way. That’s what I think Bass Coast is… and that’s why I love it!
GANJAOLOGY :: It’s been almost a year and Bass Coast 2014 is around the corner. Last year you were working on a release with Modern Math, plus your Low Indigo music and of course Chambers. Any updates?
MICHAEL :: Absolutely. The Modern Math EP since dropped and did pretty well. Chambers has secured two vinyl releases for Digitalis. One in the fall and the other in the winter. Very stoked to have it mastered and pressed by D&M and distro’d by Forced Inc. Plus Boomkat going to get behind it and the artwork is developing quite nicely. I’ve just completed my work for the debut vinyl for Undone, a really great Vancouver-based blog who are branching out into releasing music now. That release is split with Taal Mala. We each have a tune on there, and are remixing each others work on there too. Low Indigo’s got a few more releases out since we last spoke. Lots more releases being incubated currently, plus a video coming out this September and a much healthy distro network secured now too. Two tunes for South Fork Sound before the end of the year, a souns tape for Digitalis and a remix on a limited CD for IO Sound, and lots more being worked on as well. Had my first vinyl appearance earlier this year on a Hybridity comp – a remix for Sabota, which I’m happy how it turned out. ..Busy and excited, basically.
GANJAOLOGY :: What excites you most about Bass Coast this year?
MICHAEL :: Genuinely very excited to check out a pile of friend’s sets this year, like any year though really. I know a few folks have been pouring their hearts into live sets that they are going to be debuting this year. Not going to miss those. And just being surrounded by the extended family that makes up everyone there, you know.. stoked to be “home” again.
Big Thanks to Michael Red, Lighta! Sound, Bass Coast Project and everyone out there listening and sharing this extraordinary music. #Respect
Lost Tapes Pt 1. w/ Daega Sound Here.
We recently had the pleasure of participating in an extra-ordinary event here in Seattle in which the music and art communities came together to give thanks to the elements.
Hosted by Seattle bass music collective Bassdrop Music as their four year anniversary party, the event featured music from some of the hottest West Coast producers, plus some of the city’s freshest local acts. To top things off, world famous visionary artists Alex and Allyson Grey participated by doing live painting during the event. Naturally this enlivening event was entitled Elements of Bass.
Many find that the four common elements Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water are the basic elements of the universe. We are here to contend that in this time we are moving beyond this knowledge of the elementals in this basic sense. We are living in a time of expansion, connectivity and collaboration. For this reason we redefine the elements of creation as music, art, dance and healing. The folks over at Bassdrop did a great job of bringing these aspects together into an inspiring event with EOB.
For those that don’t know, Alex Grey has become famous for his ability to diagram energy flows in the human body. His attention to detail is unrivaled by any living artist of his ilk. To spice up the evening, our good friends at Bassdrop Music coordinated a discussion with the Greys, so that we young creators could get a glimpse into the minds of these visionaries.
During the discussion, Alex and Allyson shared their views on contemporary art, music, and culture and how it relates to the historical perspective. The theme of the presentation was centered on consciousness and how music, art and other forms of creative expression can color the human experience.
A strong through line which permeated the talk, was the idea of sacrament and how certain substances can bring us into a more clear space of awareness, both individually and as a collective.
From the ancient art of consuming Soma, psychedelic mushrooms or even that famed flora known to grow on grave of King Solomon – we humans have been creating, cultivating, and consuming sacraments of various form and texture throughout time. Like the infamous talks given by the late great Terrence McKenna, the Greys stressed the importance of knowing and using these plants and other substances to the benefit of consciousness, while warning of the dangers of misuse. Many of the slides displayed shared imagery of art old and new which had quite obviously been influenced by the use of psychedelics. A personal favorite is the image of the little mushroom men carrying smaller mushrooms and feeding them to one another. Alex states, “Ok, this one is quite clear… Someone was high!”
The Greys shared their view on the legalization of cannabis in the NW calling what’s happening in Washington and Colorado a benchmark. It is quite clear that like the team here at Ganjaology, Alex and Allyson value cannabis for its many beneficial properties beyond the commonly recognized lofty high that comes with smoking it. Whether it’s used to reduce pain, stop nausea, settle the mind or expand conscious awareness, one thing is clear…
The use of cannabis in appropriate dosage promotes CREATIVITY, POSITIVITY and the creation and enjoyment of BASS MUSIC!
We want to extend a big thanks to Alex and Allyson for sharing their knowledge and participating in the event both as speakers and live painters. Further we want to give thanks to Bassdrop Music for organizing the event along with all of the others that had a hand in bringing us together. Big up all the musicians that performed including Mat The Alien, Christian Martin, Bluetech, David Starfire, BizZara, Selecta Element and Triple Crown, Sean Majors, Kozmo, and all the others. Lastly we can’t leave out the local artists that participated including Burgandy Viscosi, Damon Conklin, Sarah Jorgenson, The Graffiti Defense Coalition and more!
Like Allyson’s secret script, no amount of language could begin to decipher the excitement we all shared in this phenomenal event. Again, thanks to everyone involved. We couldn’t have done it without you!
All photos featured here are the work of Kari Champoux. Thanks KC!
For the last 4 years the Bassdrop crew has been stepping up to the plate in a major way and bringing top notch artists from around the world to our club doorsteps here in Seattle, WA. To celebrate 4 full years of success, positivity, hard work, and harder play, Bassdrop will be hosting Elements Of Bass, a night of art and music featuring live painting from the living legend Alex Grey and musical performances from Christian Martin, Mat The Alien, David Starfire, Bluetech, and a huge local lineup including Ganjaology!
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Support the events and music that you love, buy pre-sale tickets!
Tier 1: $12 TICKETS! (Sold Out!)
Tier 2: $20 TICKETS! (Sold Out!)
Tier 3: $35 TICKETS! (Sold Out!)
Tier 4: $45 TICKETS!
Tier 5: $55 TICKETS!
Tier 1 VIP: ARTIST MEET & GREET: $80 (Limited Amount!)
Tier 2 VIP: ARTIST MEET & GREET: $100 (Limited Amount!)
Tier 3 VIP: ARTIST MEET & GREET: $120
Attend an insightful 45- minute presentation where Alex Grey & Allyson Grey will speak about their visionary art with explanations of new and old art pieces. Shake hands and personally thank the Greys for their amazing contributions to the art community and for coming to Seattle! They’ll be available for book signings after the presentation.
Local art enthusiasts such as Burgandy Viscosi, Sid Arthur aka Agent Orange, and Golda and Justin from Graffiti Defense Coalition, Damon Conklin and more will also speak about the impact of art in their lives. Snacks, juices, teas and coffee will be provided for VIPs.
We want you to come early to the Meet N Greet venue space, get familiar with the surroundings and get comfortable in your seat. The Meet N Greet will be held at 2310 2nd Ave in Seattle, then we will move towards the Elements of Bass party held at Within Sodo to watch the Greys paint live with 4 rooms of music, an Art Gallery, a Vendor Village, food and drinks and dancing!
BUY YOURS HERE:
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Bassdrop has teamed up with The Secret Cup! Buy a combo ticket and get entry into Elements of Bass & The Secret Cup which will be held June 7th @ 7 Point Studios!
Buy combo tickets here: http://bit.ly/TheSecretCup
Need help getting to ELEMENTS OF BASS?
The Basscoast Mutiny lineup has been revealed, and as expected, it’s stacked with an impressive array of musical talent. For the past three years the Ganjaology team has adventured north into the Canadian wilderness to share in one of the highest vibes parties this side of the Kootenays… and you better believe we’re gearing up for another round!
Year after year the Bass Coast Project continues to amaze, enliven and inspire. Once again, this year The Bass Coast Girls (organizers Andrea Graham and Liz Thomson) have outdone themselves. Performances for this year’s bush session include Addison Groove, Tribe Called Red, Bogl, Cure, D Bridge, Danny Corn, G Jones, J.F. Killah, Kir Mokem, Mat The Alien, Max Ulis, Natasha Kmeto, Nick Wisdom, Philthkids, Self Evident, Sweater Beats, Tank Gyal, Librarian, and Yan Zombie among others!! We’ve listed music from many of the musicians below.
Listen to the sounds and imagine yourself in the forest, the beats filling your auditory field. Notice how you feel as these frequencies are filtered through your receiving centers. Are you inspired? Does the music make you move, make you bow your head and hum… Do these sounds suggest to you love or lust, laughter or longing? Are you sick with excitement?
Whatever the case, our physicians here at Ganjaology Institute prescribe one fat dose of BC trees combined with all manner of creation from raw to refined (super pun here, please smirk responsibly). Coincidentally you can get all this at Bass Coast. Do your body a favor and get up to Merritt, BC this August for Bass Coast 6 Mutiny!
A THOUSAND YEARS
A TRIBE CALLED RED
ANDREW VAN HASSEL
DJ K-TEL SUNDAY SOUL SESSIONS
DJ LORNE B
EL PAPA CHANGO
FORT KNOX FIVE
HEART TO HEART (BRON AND MOE LOWE)
JANOVER & RESUNATOR
JPOD THE BEAT CHEF
KRYSTLE LOVE B
LUCITERRA & CHRIS MURDOCH
MAT THE ALIEN
SWEET SOUL BURLESQUE
THE FUNK HUNTERS
If you’re not already hip to Mat The Alien, it’s time to inform yourself. This man is one of the well kept secrets of the Pacific North West. Originally from England, now residing primarily in BC, Mat The Alien holds down a weekly event at Maxx Fish Lounge in Whistler with Andrea Graham aka The Librarian, one of the creators of Bass Coast. Mat is also the founder and head of Really Good Recordings, a premium bass music label based in BC, Canada!
Here we have ground breaking mix from Mat The Alien, which he did for the BC based music blog Dub Selekta and their Bass Coast Festival Decompression Series. This is packed full of tunes, plus some very rare DJ tricks that only Mat can do. If you’ve ever seen him play, you will know what we’re talking about. His skills are out of this world, hence… The Alien!
More from Mat on his Soundcloud here.
The first weekend of this beautiful sun soaked month, the Ganjaology team made our way up to Merritt, BC – the new home of BC’s boutique music festival – Bass Coast. In prior years, the event has been held on native land in Squamish just North of Vancouver. As the event was growing, it became apparent after last year that it was time for a larger, more scaleable venue. With their eyes glistening, and their hearts open, organizers Andrea Graham and Liz Thomson – better known as the Bass Coast Girls – set out to find Bass Coast a new home. When they found themselves nestled in the hills beside the Coldwater River in Merrit BC, they knew that they had struck gold.
It is here in Merrit that all the magic happened. With more than a handful of world class music acts, several various types of workshops, a feast of food, the headiest of art vendors and installations, and the freshest of fashion – Bass Coast was a marketplace of imagination.
Three massive stages housed the music acts, each equipped with enough sound to curl your hair. Maybe being around all this bass is what gives The Librarian those tight bouncy curls which she playfully threw around during her set on the Bassment Stage. The backdrop for the Bassment was an awesome array or hexagonal shapes, which when illuminated created an incredible display of geometric intricacies. Other acts to perform on the stage include Machinedrum, Daega Sound, Evy Jane, Justin Martin, Calamalka, Self Evident, Taal Mala, Goth Trad, Lorne B, Grenier, Luciterra and Chris Murdoch, Dark Sky, Sanctums, Natasha Kmeto, and Jets.
Across the way from the Bassment was the infamous Radio Stage which was home to the morning radio show each day. In the evening, the frequencies intensified, allowing for darker, deeper energies to surface. Home to Mat The Alien, Om Unit, Max Ulis, Neighbour, and DJ Cure to name a few, the Radio Stage held space for some of the most radical of music acts. Others to perform on this pulchritudinous platform include Funk Hunters, Barisone, Little Dinosaur, Kir Mokem, Erica Dee, The Fungineers, Adam Shaikh, Willisist, Desert Dwellers, Westerly, Sweet Anomaly, Tor, Paul Brooks, JPod, Humans, Longwalkshortdock, Nautilus, Jimmy Edgar, and Spilt Milk.
Finally, one of my personal favorite stages, was the Slay Bay. Nestled in the trees by the calm flowing river, Slay Bay provided a respite from the high energy, sun soaked spirit of the other stages. Standout acts included Michael Red and Random Rab, with their monday morning close out sets. Other highlights from this zone include the Lighta! Reggae Jam, Philth kids, Alphabets Heaven, Dan Solo, Wax Romeo, Mama Miche, HxDB, Woodhead, Isis Graham, Tank Gyal and Mandai, JF Killah, and Ryan Wells.
When we weren’t raging near the subs, snuggled in a hammock, cooling off in the water, or simply listening… One might find us at the smaller, alternative stages which hosted an incredible array of music and workshops. The Bigger Brain and Alter Stages housed these more intimate gatherings. While enjoying yoga, meditation and breathing, or delving into the magical world of alchemy and spice – whether transfixed by the science of Mantra, engaged in contact improvisation dance, jumping in on the freestyle cypher, or twirling yourself with Sacred Circus – these spaces held fast for participants to… Well yes, to participate. Big up to Michael Red and Gabriel Soloman of Chambers and Ydna Murd, the 8 limbed DnB drummer for turning my world inside out from deep within the Bigger Brain.
All in all, I must say… Bass Coast was bigger, badder and busier than ever this year. I simply loved it. From the music and art to the workshops and water sports, Bass Coast participants had their hands and hearts full of enlivening experience to create a wonder filled weekend. We look forward to another rendezvous in the forest this time again next year. Until then, we will be buzzing, building and abounding with positivity… basically bursting at the seems with anticipation for the next installment by the Bass Coast Girls. Big thanks to all that had a hand in the creation of this simply stunning event.
Bravo y’all. Much love and appreciation…
PS. Big Thanks to Cody Puckett for all of the spectacular photos seen here.
More from Cody at his website!
Be sure to check back for the Bass Coast Residual Frequencies Interview Series here at Ganjaology… Stay tuned!
More info about the Bass Coast Project here:
If you’re not already a part of the Vancouver bass music scene, you likely aren’t yet privy to the distinct sounds of Self Evident. This BC native is known for his high grade, genre flexing DJ sets and masterful production. Sticking mostly to the heady, subterranean type vibes, Self Evident’s sets move through dubstep, future bass, raw dub, trap, footwork, jungle, juke and other ill defined contemporary frequencies. The bottom line is that the man has a knack for creating sonic landscapes which push the musical envelope and create opportunity for vibrating gyrations of the pelvic kind.
I recently had the chance to catch up with Self Evident when he was performing in Seattle. While kicking back and enjoying some classy beverages, we chatted about everything from birds to bees to bass… Check out the interview below.
Also, I’ve included some essential sounds by Self Evident. Feel free to toggle to your hearts desire. Just today, he is releasing his 8 track album, Rubbaman with Really Good Recordings. Be sure to cop that on Beatport!
In just a few short days, Self Evident will be headed up to Merrit for the weekend to participate in BC’s most bossed up bass music festival… Bass Coast. He will be performing among other superb acts including the whole team from Lighta! Sound, the infamous Librarian, Michael Red, Goth Trad, Machinedrum, HxDB, Om Unit, Dan Solo, Daega Sound, DJ Cure, Neightbour, Mat The Alien, Random Rab, The Fungineers, Alphabets Heaven, Calamalka, and many more. If you’re going, don’t miss Self Evident’s solo set along with the Lighta! Reggae Jam…
Here’s the interview. Big up and many thanks to Ben for his kindness in sharing with us!
GANJAOLOGY: Alright… We are here in Seattle. This is Mickey Mars with Ganjaology. I’m here with Self Evident. He’s from Vancouver BC. So do you want to just tell us a little bit about yourself?
SELF EVIDENT: Self Evident. Vancouver BC. Representing Lighta Sound!.
GANJAOLOGY: Nice. Very nice. Welcome. So ya, this is your first night playing in Seattle?
SELF EVIDENT: Ya
GANJAOLOGY: Nice. Well we are looking forward to checking it out. I hope you are enjoying your time in Seattle so far.
SELF EVIDENT: It’s beautiful here.
GANJAOLOGY: Great! Let’s start with the basics. How did you originally get into music?
SELF EVIDENT: Definitely having older siblings helps, like my brother’s four years older than me, and he got into electronic music pretty early. He introduced me to a lot of seriously old school dance music which gave me sort of that leg up that a lot of those british guys have, as far as knowing about electronic music when they were kids. And then… How did I get into shit?
GANJAOLOGY: Did you play any instruments in school?
SELF EVIDENT: I did, I was a musician. I was in a few bands, like playing guitar and stuff. And I guess Max had DJ’d for a long time, I’ve been producing for a long time. And then we sort of traded off those skills a little bit, so that helped. And then, a huge influence was when my brother did a Tuesday weekly called Grime Sessions out of the back room in Shine Night Club in Vancouver, and that still has such a huge impression on me. I used to go to every Tuesday and get really drunk and dance super hard to grime music, and I still… that’s probably the biggest influence on me besides like, dancehall is pretty big for me. But grime does something deep inside of me that I can’t explain, like more than any other style.
GANJAOLOGY: Nice, that’s funny. Well my next question was what is your biggest inspiration, haha…
SELF EVIDENT: Well I still collect grime on vinyl. It’s like one of my hobbies. I have a pretty serious vinyl grime collection, and also UKG and two step. Still collect that on vinyl.
GANJAOLOGY: Any specific artists?
SELF EVIDENT: Ahhhh… Nope.
GANJAOLOGY: Nice. Perfect. Haha. That’s awesome man, well we’re looking forward to seeing what you play tonight.
SELF EVIDENT: I guess hip-hop is a huge influence on me too. Gangster stuff. I remember, I think, that my brother bought this NWA tape, “Hundred Miles and Runnin'” And back then you actually had to be of a certain age to buy a thing that was explicit material. I remember him buying that. I couldn’t have bought it at the time. And listening to it. That was a big influence for sure. Lot’s of hip hop. Big influence.
GANJAOLOGY: My mom made me return the Cash Money Millionaires, Juvenile album.
SELF EVIDENT: Oh my god, hahaha. Hilarious.
GANJAOLOGY: Right!? Anyway, I’ve seen you perform a couple times. Always in Canada. I gotta say Canada is unbelievable. The bass scene up there is pretty awesome. Vancouver primarily, but Canada in general. So what can you say about that?
SELF EVIDENT: Ya, I feel really blessed with what’s going on in Vancouver right now. We’ll even get headliners in from London who are like… The scene is even more into the music than in England. You know what I mean, like really dedicated fans. And not only that but fans that know their shit. Like I learn shit from my fans. “You need to check out this” or “you need to check out that” They’re on to it. And their really… Maybe a lot of conditioning from the early Dub Forms parties, but people are open to hear something that they never heard before. They’re almost expecting that from me and from other DJs, you know. They’re ready to give me the fucking, “What the fuck is that shit stuff”
GANJAOLOGY: Ya that’s awesome! So ya, we spoke a little bit about your brother, but I have to ask. Obviously you guys are connected. I’ve seen you at the same events, doing the same shows, stuff like that. You came out with the Eastsiders EP last year, which was awesome! That one track has been echoing in my head all summer.
SELF EVIDENT: “Numba One Stunna?”
SELF EVIDENT: Oh Nice
GANJAOLOGY: “Move ya, Move, Move…” Like aaahhhh. So do you guys have any new releases that you’ve been working on together?
SELF EVIDENT: Working on lots of stuff with my bro. He’s very meticulous about what he puts out so don’t know when that stuff will surface. Really stoked for my collabos with Subcorr. Double Intention is our R&B one, and Blockout is the grime one that we’re working on. Those are going along really well.
GANJAOLOGY: Nice. Are those going to be EPs or full length?
SELF EVIDENT: We have a whole album produced with the R&B one. We’re just working with a vocalist right now to write some songs. And then the Blockout one, we have about five or six tunes just about done. Just about to start chopping them to labels. Grime with a little bit of dubstep with a future kind of influence.
GANJAOLOGY: Nice that’s awesome. Ya I think one of the things that has majorly impressed me personally is your ability to transition between different genres, and really to just bring a certain level of play. It’s like your sound, but yet you’re moving through a lot of different stuff. I wanted to ask specifically about the Wepa! album. I heard that and it’s just way different, and super cool. So would you tell us a little bit about that one.
SELF EVIDENT: Ya, I met this guy Will Eede from Argentina, and my buddy Dustin (Gameboy) spent a little time in Mexico. And they kinda had a history with Cumbia music and they introduced me to Cumbia, and it was really intersting. Anytime I hear something that’s like so out of the pallet that I know, it’s always like wow. There’s something I can take from that. Whenever I hear something super fresh, I instantly have to go and make something with that influence right away. Anyway, through working with them got super influenced by a lot of the Latin artists. Chancha Via Circuito, Super Guachin, Black Mandingo. But right now kinda working on a little bit of a druggy, trippy sort of indiginious music influenced thing with Will Eede. And then, with Gameboy, we’re hopefully gonna be doing a project with Lido Pimienta who’s out of Toronto. Really, really talented singer who’s originally out of Columbia. So that’s on the horizon for that.
GANJAOLOGY: Cool, Nice.
SELF EVIDENT: And if possible, I’d like to mention my co-lab with Yan Zombie that we’re working on right now. It’s like some mad Dr. Dre Chronic shit meets future bass. Really, really excited for that. That man is a king on the keyboards. Which kinda gives me that thing which I don’t have quite yet, which is that live keyboard playing.
GANJAOLOGY: Great. So I’ve seen you a couple festivals as well as clubs. Do you have a specific favorite place to play or general vibe that you like?
SELF EVIDENT: Ya, my brother’s night’s at Open Studios are pretty legendary. Just such a good vibe there. He always puts together a great lineup. Michael Red of course used to put on the Dub Forms parties there in the really early dubstep days, bringing all the early dubstep innovators before people were on to that shit. So that space is amazing. Obviously I have my monthly at the Astoria which is a little more grubby gangsta style.
GANJAOLOGY: What’s the name of that night?
SELF EVIDENT: That’s a good question. I’ve been doing it for over a year now and I still don’t have a name for my monthly. Haha, I actually thought about one while laying in bed last night… And I forgot it. I though it was the one though. It will come back to me. Thinking of a name for something is hard!
GANJAOLOGY: Any big plans for the summer, plans for the year? Anything you are particularly excited about?
SELF EVIDENT: Well Bass Coast Festival of course. Probably… As far as like, for real heads, future heads… I don’t see another lineup in all of North America which has that much quality at the top of it. You know what I mean? Like, not just… I don’t want to name names, but not just shit that the masses are into or know about. You know, like stuff that the real heads wanna see super bad. It’s just a massive lineup, in that sense. Andrea, her taste in music… To have someone picking all the music like that, it’s awesome.
GANJAOLOGY: Yes. Very excited. We’ll be there for sure.
SELF EVIDENT: It’s weird. It’s the only festival I’m playing this year though. I go five last year so…
GANJAOLOGY: You’re pushing the production then, huh?
SELF EVIDENT: Working on it, ya. Oh for sure. Working on a whole album right now. It’s kinda grime, dubstep, kinda thing. It’s weird, there’s a wickid resurgence in dubstep right now. Proper dubstep is coming back. People like Kahn obviously. He’s a big part of why this is coming about. A lot of people are like, “Oh shit. I wanna hear this again” Daega has been saying it to me for a couple months, or even longer than that. I just played in New York City for a guy that does a monthly called Reconstruct, They have a serious following for proper dubstep in NYC right now. Their shows are selling out and they’re bringing all those big names again, and they’re doing it proper.
GANJAOLOGY: Anything you care to share that you haven’t said already?
SELF EVIDENT: August 23rd I’m doing a show at the Astoria with Monolithium from Victoria, and Bevvy Swift from Montreal, and Crusha who just got a release on Mad Decent! And Kimmy K, it will be one of her first sets. She’ll be opening up. Should be good. I think that’s it. And shout out to HxDB, everyone in Lighta! of course, Librarian… Who else should I shout out? Oh my god, they’ll hate me. Ok that’s about it.
GANJAOLOGY: Awesome. Thanks!
When it comes to music that resonates your soul as deeply as it rattles your speakers, the frequencies radiating from Vancouver native Bevvy Swift are truly turned up and tuned in. Since his start as a DJ and producer in 2004, Bevvy has focused primarily on creating hip hop influenced bass music. Incorporating sounds from the future into rhythms of the past, Bevvy’s compositions are as deep rooted as they are high tech.
His work with DJ partner Shaun Galaugher and their duo Glitchy & Scratchy has been a platform for which Mr. Swift has been able to turn up the dial on his musical output. Together, through a combination of in depth studio work and many club and festival dates across Canada, the pair has an impressive resume of both performance and production. We had the distinct pleasure of catching these two together for the first time at a NYE after-after-house-party on New Years Day in Vancouver in 2011.
Though much of his creations may be dance focused, siding on the glitchy trip hop – Bevvy Swift is by no means a man of shallow ears. His mix series Feelings, which we are featuring here, can attest to his deep knowledge of the power of sensitivity, emotion and love when incorporated into music. The three part series features songs which paint emotional landscapes for the listener. With an intimate connection to each tune, Bevvy has moved from DJ to story teller with this series. Let these sounds sink in as they wash over you, and pay attention to what you feel. Are you too, moved by this music?
We had a chance to speak with Bevvy about the Feelings mix series, giving him the opportunity to provide his own account of the project. We also touched on his recent endeavors, upcoming projects and plans for 2013. Let’s here what he had to say!
GANJAOLOGY : What’s up. Let’s start with what’s your name, where you from? Any musical affiliations to note, labels, partnerships, etc.
BEVVY : Bevan Marco Ruebsaat Bartlett, born march 3rd, 1986, Grace Hospital, Vancouver BC. I’ve been going by Bevvy Swift since I started DJing in 2004, while Glitchy & Scratchy came about a few years later. I’ve released music with San Francisco’s Muti Music; Vancouver-based label East Van Digital; and GlitchHopForum.com’s sister label, Woofercookers.
GANJAOLOGY : How long have you been involved in music? Tell us a bit about your roots.
BEVVY : My parents were traveling folk singer/teachers before they settled down to have kids – so needless to say music has been a huge part of my life since day one. I started collecting records at age 5 (the beatles mostly), and started playing guitar at 13. Around the same time I fell in love with hip hop, and was lucky enough to be in a high school that was just starting a digital music composition program. I wanted to make beats for lyrics, but most of the rappers in my school either sucked or wanted some mainstream ass beats or both, so production at that phase was not taken too seriously. I was experimenting with sounds and having a great time doing it. Once I got out of high school I got my first job, and turntables were the first thing I bought. I spent the next couple of years gigging around vancouver’s rave scene mostly, playing breakbeats, hip-hop, and drum n bass. During that time I met and befriended DJ Global (aka El Mongoose, aka the Greenskeeper, aka the other half of Glitchy & Scratchy) and he lit a little fire under my ass to get writing beats again. Our idea was to take the elements we liked from the rave stuff (big bass, punchy drums, blippy, drippy synths) and write hip-hop beats for the future. Once we realized that someone, somewhere might actually want to hear what we were doing, it was game on!
GANJAOLOGY : Your bio says, “Bevvy draws from the electronic sounds of the past to make the hip hop of the future.” Tell us about some of these influences.
BEVVY : Videogames and sci-fi mostly. I grew up without TV, and thus found myself very susceptible to its influence when exposed. I was deeply intrigued by people in the past speculating about what the future was going to be like. Games like Metroid, Contra, Chrono Trigger; movies like Dune, Star Wars, Total Recall… It was like this beautiful marriage of nostalgia and possibility, and i think those are two things that influence my music more than most.
GANJAOLOGY : Tell us about your involvement in the BC Bass scene. What makes the culture so rich?
BEVVY : As soon as I started going to raves around age 16, I knew I wanted to get my hands dirty. I used to help promoter friends flyer, that kind of thing; started DJing very soon after that. I didn’t put on any shows of my own until 2007, when Global and I teamed up with fellow glitch hop producers J.Me.J and Application to form the Integrated Grime Unit, whose purpose was to make sure everyone in Vancouver knew about this awesome new style of music… haha, and then the world! At that time, the old guards of broken beat – DnB & breakbeats – were fast losing peoples interest, and dubstep was just catching hold of vancouver’s underground. It is much thanks to other local sound pioneers (namely vancouver’s “Lighta!” boys), and the musical open-mindedness of the day that we were able to reach anybody.
GANJAOLOGY : I caught your sets at Bass Coast and Shambhala this past year. What other festivals did you play? 2012 highlights?
BEVVY : In 2012 I played at Loki Music Festival, Diversity, Sync, as well as Basscoast and Shambles… hope i’m not missing any. Diversity was my fave time this summer i think. So low key and relaxed, only getting ravey when called for. Shambles & Basscoast are always a good time too, no surprises there. I love driving long distances – and post-festival driving, when everyone else is passed out. It’s one of my favorite times to be alive!
GANJAOLOGY : Today we are listening to your Feelings mix series. The selections are a bit more deep and lovey than what you usually play. Any words to go along with the sounds?
BEVVY : Big personal paradigm shift for me this year, further in the direction of disclosure and honesty. Disclosure as in saying what you truly feel, and honesty, as in truly meaning what you say. The tunes included in the series are all very close to my heart, so much so that if asked, I could tie a specific emotional experience to each one… but don’t ask. My first few weeks in montreal left me listening to my “on repeat” playlist and steeping in all these feelings, and it felt like i needed to do something to release – to get it out there – so i could move forward, musically and personally. I never thought recording mixes would take so much out of me, but i am infinitely glad it did. If we dont let music affect us, what’s the point in listening? And by the same token, if we don’t let life affect us, what is the point in being alive? Open that heart thingy. You’d be surprised what finds its way in.
GANJAOLOGY : The wisdom creeps in. This is very true. Any upcoming events or festivals on the horizon?
BEVVY : Late march will see me open for NASTYNASTY in Montreal; all night, secret location! That same week I’ll be playing at a graffiti battle. I had a chance to play at the last graff event my first week here, and was blown away. Montreal has a really diverse arts scene, one I wish I had more time to get deeper involved in. As for summer 2013, only time will tell…
GANJAOLOGY : Surely it will. You have an upcoming release, want to talk about that?
BEVVY : Sure! on March 12th, Muti Music (home of Herobust, ill-Esha, Mimosa, Ill Gates, R/D…) is putting out an EP of remixes from my first album, Monochrome. On the release are diverse re-workings from label boss Dov, BC future music homies HxDB (who is going to be here in MTL soon), and the Philthkids, with a leftfield/dancefloor hybrid from cali native, Hypha. as i said, its pretty diverse for a four track ep, but thats the true beauty of remixes.
I also have a remix for the homey Mylesaway coming early summer on Mat the Alien’s imprint, Really Good Recordings. Myles goes deep and dark with this release, and my remix of his Badman Drone is probably one of the heaviest tunes ive ever written – so much so, that i was considering releasing it under one of my many yet-imaginary aliases.
GANJAOLOGY : Looking forward to hearing all that! What more can we expect in 2013?
BEVVY : My next album for muti is in the works, keep an eye out for that later this year. Chunky drums, neck-snap rhythms, and funky ass basslines. Future retro shit. I also have a couple of side projects on the go, which may at some point this year become front projects. Late night stuff, vocal stuff. Late night vocal stuff.
Big Shout to Bevvy for all his hard work and willingness to share his thoughts.
Today he celebrates his 27th birthday.
Happy Birthday Bevvy!
Much love and respect from the whole team here at…
FEELINGS (a love story) full tracklisting:
AND THEN IT WAS OVER….
Lift You Up………………………………………ViLLΛGE
Another Girl [Machinedrum rmx]…………Jacques Greene
Pyramids (epic ass video version)…………Frank Ocean
Bottle Service [ft. Shlomo]…………………..Groundislava
See You In The Morning……………………..Anxious Forbes
Alone [Kastle rmx]…………………………….JMSN
Columbia Clock & Dagger Pt. 2……………Aalo Guha
I’m God…………………………………………..Clams Casino
PT. 2 – OVER (& over & over)
3rd Soul…………………………………………Jim-E Stack
Nothing Between Us…………………………ViLLΛGE
Roll With The Punches………………………Peverelist
Forgive Me (for messin’ up)……………….Two Inch Punch
On My Roost……………………………………Shoulda
Ol’ Lady Love Songs………………………….Imaginations Treetrunk
PT. 3 – HEAD (over heels)
Ode to Bear……………………………………Mount Kimbie
Fifth Ave………………………………………..Gold Panda
Right on Time…………………………………B.Bravo
Trying to Get Over…………………………..Prison Garde
Pad Kontrol…………………………………….Georgia Anne Muldrow
Orbit162………………………………………..Decepticon Bootleg Machine
Get Free……………………………………..Major Lazer ft. Amber
Welcome to Ganjaology. Let me hit you with some quick info. Mat The Aliens new record label Really Good Recordings has just released some of the most original, non-overproduced, organic, and overall appealing glitch hop I’ve heard up to this date. The group you’re listening to goes by the name of Moontricks and is made up of long time friends and Canadian residents Nog and Mr. Mercy. The name of their EP is The Ignition.
When I hear the word Ignite I think of a match lighting…or some sort of flame bursting into existence. When I hear The Ignition EP I hear a that flame being lit. That flame represents a new take on Glitch Hop and a new appreciation for the more minimal side of the genre. That flame then turns into a steady fire consisting of beautifully hot guitar melodies and scorching bass lines that burn away any silence in the surrounding area.
I can’t really pick one song out of the four to call my favorite…the EP is short enough to listen to all the way through without the thought of changing any of the songs occurring. In fact, I’d like there to be a few more songs! Oh well…I guess we’ll have to wait for the next release. One last thing I would like to note before wrapping this up is how well Moontricks incorporated breaks into all of the songs on The Ignition EP. It gives the whole EP a very airy and spacious feel and adds as much character to the music as all the funky bass lines, drums, synths, and guitars do.
Listen, Share, Support, Burn A Fatty.
Mat The Alien is bringing some heavy wobble action to the worldly side of dubstep with this track called HsPtL WbBL. This song has the ‘Trade Off’ feel (as I like to call it) to it, one wobble speaking for a few seconds and then giving way to to the next crunchy voice. It’s definitely a tune you can sit back and vibe to or play in the club and shut down the dance floor! What a nice blend between beauty and heavy.